finish education in france

Old May 16th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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finish education in france

Bonjour mon amis, I have some questions, how do I go about applying for colleges in france to attend the full four years, I know I have to go through campus france and get a visa, but what college can I attend that would best fit my needs. I am majoring in french and biology. I have two years and one semester of speaking french, my thirteen year old daughter however is more of a beginner than myself. I will be planning to take her with me to france as well. I am in the process of trying find living expenses scholarships or grants so my daughter and I can live, while we both attend school. can anyone help or give me any resources to start my journey?
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Old May 16th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Back in the Dark Age when I was a student, you had to have done two years of university in the States and then pass a French language and culture exam before you could be admitted. Once admitted the course of study and yearly exams were difficult. I was a student at the Sorbonne, and my husband was at Sciences Po. In the end we found that it was easier to return to the States to finish our education. Take heed but good luck !
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Old May 16th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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You need to start by reading the Wikipedia article entitled "French Educational System." It will describe how French people get to university, and it is very different from the system in the US, though I don't know if you are in the US.

The hardest part is going to be the baccalaureat, the diploma that is the key to everything beyond. The second hard part is that you seem (daughter) to be what we in the US call a non-traditional student, and there is very little provision in the traditional French system for such a student. These are real obstacles even if you could qualify for French citizenship through your parents.

There are American universities in France, but they tend to be private and expensive. There are also junior year abroad programs, and with any luck at your home university, you may be able to extend that for another semester. It depends on what you are studying and what you could do in France to forward that.

So I don't mean to discourage your dream, but I don't want you to underestimate the obstacles ahead.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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Talk to your local college/university. Post-secondary education has grown increasingly international -- a really good thing -- and you will have better luck organizing your plans on home turf.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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I don't think you can enter a French university with your level of language ability in a regular course, but you could try--you need to take a language test as to your capability in French, I beileve, which is similar to most universities in any country for foreign students. YOu take the TCF-DAP or TEF or have a DELF/DALF degree.

And perhaps take an entrance exam also and have your academic credentials evaluated. It sounds like you want a language school to learn French rather than going to a French university as a regular student (as they don't have degrees in learning to speak French). YOu can take some French classes in French univesities in their special programs for foreigners, but those aren't regular degree programs. They are usually in the summer.

There are other universities than ones run by France that may have a program in English, of course, but they will be expensive. There is the American University in Paris, of course, and I know there is a well-known one down near Nice that is very tech-oriented.

But it sounds like you are just an undergrad biology major thinking you can learn French in university and have that be a degree and I don't think so.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 05:08 PM
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Agree that you cannot take French as a degree course in a French university. This would be like taking English (language - as opposed to majoring in literature) as a major in the the US. It can;t be done. And if you want to take a major in biology your French will have to be good enough going in that you can understand the courses and texts.

And I think that you will find that 5 semesters of conversational French (if that is what you mean) are not nearly sufficient to take university level courses in French.

You daughter is another issue. I believe that you would have to demonstrate that you can support her - including paying for her to attend a private school where she would be learning French - for her to obtain a visa (yours covers only you - not her).

I don;t mean to be discouraging - but I think you should look into this in more depth, as well as taking a standard test to determine your own level of French comprehension beyond daily conversation. (I remember enough of my college French to function as a sort of bilingual tourist dealing with daily things - but would be totally lost in an academic situation - certainly not able to write papers or take comprehensive exams..)
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Old May 16th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Sorry - I was a history major at a major US state university and some of my upper level history courses were attended by a combination of undergrd and grad students. And wile the lectures were all in English - the rest of the course divided by student status. If you were undergrad you could do your research and write your papers in English and take your exams in English. the grad students had to do the research in the original French sources and write their papers in French as well as take exams in French. One of our assignments was to relate a novel - in this case Le Rouge et Le Noir - to the events in society at the time.

Would you be able to read that book and write a 25 page paper on this topic in French? That's the level of knowledge you would need - including in scientific subjects - to work on a university level.
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